Whenever I meet someone new, the conversation or the “small-talk” always leads to that one question- “what are you studying?” I say very proudly “Masters in English Language and Literature” which is followed by a not-so-subtle “ooh” by my interrogator, with the question “You have to read novels right? I bet you don’t have to study at all. It’s so much fun!”
The said statement has been following me ever since I took up English Honors in my graduation. There are a lot of answers swirling in my mind at this point but instead of saying what I have in mind I just say “We have a huge course and we have to analyse authors and their work” instead,what I want to say is “We, my friend, are given a lesson in perspective. While others see, we perceive.
Studying English has transformed my life in a beautiful way which only I can see. I can now “read between the lines” of what earlier seemed to me a mere amalgamation of words and sentences woven into a story to entertain the reader. The habit of reading was inculcated into me by my mother, and today I have come way beyond that. The love of reading did not make the decision for me to further explore English honors, the love for the literature did. I can now perceive even subtle sarcasm and draft a suitable reply to it while others take offence. I can understand Shakespeare without somebody having to explain it to me. I can extract meanings out of texts which I have read just once, not to mention my vocabulary has improved along with my capability of expression of thought.
But this did not come easy. I had to work for it, read up and pay attention to my seniors and critics. When you think of it, literature is not for everyone really, it only comes to those who love it and respect it. Literature can be fun at some point but only when you want to make it fun. And this is not as a reply that I am posting this, I still let my “science background” friends believe it’s really fun and they believe me, until they read the books which I have suggested them! 😉